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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  September 11, 2014 12:00am-1:01am EDT

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on"america tonight", the president makes his case to the american people. >> if you threaten america, you will find no safe haven. >> islamic state in the cross-hairs of the white house. >> our objective is clear - we will degrade and ultimately destroy i.s.i.l. >> will congress get on board, do americans support military action. from d.c. to iraqs, "america tonight" team coverage starts now.
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good evening, everyone, thank you for joining us, i'm adam may, joie chen has the night off. the president announces we are going back to iraq. he laid out a plan out lining a long-term strategy to destroy the islamic state. the big announcement in an address that the war on terror will expand into syria, and 475 additional personnel will head into that region. the president stressed that no boots on the ground. >> we will conduct a systematic campaign of air strikes against the terrorists. working with the iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian mission missions, so we hit iraqi targets. i have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country wherever they are, that means we will not hesitate to take action in
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i.s.i.l., as well as iraq. this is a core principle of my presidency. >> if you threaten america, you will find no safe haven. >> we have team coverage tonne the islamic state threat. let's go to the white house, and correspondent from al jazeera, mike viqueira. i think there's debate on whether air strikes alone will be effective, but a greater debate about the long-term plan. >> right. there are contingencies that the plan is happening on. first of all, it's predicated on a newly formed iraqi government that the white house uses a precondition before it was going to launch robust air strikes, beef up a preps in iraq, and remember the air strikes have been going on for a month. and as the president says, ignore the border, which is virtually non-existent and go after the islamic state group inside syria itself. administration officials say the plan is to systematically roll
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back the gains made over the course of the last several months by the islamic state group, to shrink their territory, and another tenuous part of the plan, to arm the free syrian army with the moderate vetted opposition, and train them as well, and the training surprisingly will be on saudi territory. the president, in an indication of how sensitive the topic is, while stressing it will be a coalition, did not mention the states by name. the president stressed the need for an international force and effort to go after the islamic state group. >> if left unchecked the terrorists could pose a threat beyond the region, including to the united states. what we have not yet detected specific plotting against the homeland. i.s.i.l. leaders threatened america and our allies. the intelligence community believes thousands of foreigners
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and some americans, joined them in syria and iraq. trained and battle hardened, the fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks. >> officials say there's no direct threat a this point from the islamic state group, to the united states homeland, although they view that as a long-term potential much one of the questions here is what will congress's role be in all of this. it's clear now that the president is not going to seek a vote to authorise an expansion of the air campaign, he said he'll welcome consultations from congress. >> let's bring into the discussion lisa, joining us here, a political analyst. >> what support does he need from congress to move forward. >> does not need support. does not seem politically on the air streaks, there's more tweets with member of the congress saying he doesn't need the
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authority. he needs two things, one, he wants $500 million for equipment, resources, and the u.s.'s role here. that is something that congress is debating. what he needs the most, and what will be the moment fascinating thing to watch is he wants congressional authority to arm the syrian opposition. >> the groups that mike was talking about, the free syrian army, and that is what we are seeing as a big discussion. >> won't that be difficult as we head into midterm elections. >> there's a lot of political calculus. the reaction is coming fast at this hour. we are seeing support for defeated i.s.i.s., and a lot of questions about the specific strategy. they want more details. we are seeing support from some key leaders. >> there's so much coalition building and also in the international community. i want to ask you about what is happening behind the scenes.
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a rare moment when theyad the cameras looking in. the president was on the phone. how many coalition building is happening. is anything solidified? >> it's a great point. i haven't seen the level of stage craft. they allowed the cameras to walk down and peer flow the french doors of the open office as president obama spoke with king abdullah in saudi arabia. and no mistake, they are a linchpin, and administration officials let it be known that part of the plan is to have the syrian rebels train on saudi arabia territory, train by american forces. a lot of moving parts here, one key element and question, adam, is when would the air strikes over syria and into syria begin, there has been intelligence overflights to identify targets within syria. the administration will say they reserved the right to begin the strikes, and a precondition -
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they will not wait for congress to act for for the arms and training of the pre-syrian army and moderate opposition there is, to start receiving the flow of arms and training they have been promised. >> al jazeera, white house correspondent, mike viqueira, thank you for joining us. the president laid out his case to the american people and the congress. was it enough. let's join the congressman. ranking member of the house foreign affairs committee, thank you for joining us. my question for you is a main point of the president's plan that he talked about was intelligence on the ground in syria. a lot of people say we don't have the intelligence now, can the plan move forward without that? >> i think the president articulated a comprehensive plan. i support him, i think his vision is correct. i have been in favour of arming the free syrian army for a number of years now. and i wish we had done it a
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couple of years ago, i think this is a good start now. and i think the critics of the president in congress who were complaining that he wasn't strong enough. he's being strong now, and i hope they will be consistent and support him. i.s.i.l. or i.s.i.s. is a threat to the united states, to europe, the states in the middle east, and i think the president is absolutely correct. >> congressman, it's obviously a lat in the middle east, but one point of disconnect for a lot of americans is is there a clear threat to america, or a mermging threat to america. what do you have to say about that? >> i think it's both. i don't think they are mutually exclusive. when the russians were kicked out of afghanistan, and everybody felt happy about that, we didn't keep our eye on the prize. al qaeda came into afghanistan, and the eyes of the taliban and
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plotted attacks much the united states was attacked. that's because afghanistan at that time was a no man's land, and the terrorists there were not disrupted. the same thing is true now in syria, and in iraq. with alexander yesyn or i.s.i.l. if we allow them to have a no man's land, where they can plot and plan attacks against the west and the united states, against the arab countries of the middle east, they be that is taking our eye off the prize again. so the president is right when he says we have to disrupt them, stop then, we have to destroy them. i think that we have seen in the past several weeks the brutality, the murder of men, women and children. we saw the beheading of two citizens in a brutal fashion. these are not people you can reason with. i think the president's vision is on target. >> congress - stand by on that note. and we'll bring back in lisa, a
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question about syria, coming up a year ago, and a lot of members of congress did not want to move forward, some are looking back at that as a mistake. >> i can remember standing outside the door of many, many meetings, and you are seeing that in the reaction for those saying great speech, but they are trying to blame the president for i.s.i.s.'s existence. that is it something that is debatable. democrats, i am sure, will scoff at the idea that president obama is responsible, but the idea there is that the u.s. should have done more a year ago to prevent any of these groups forming, and helping the syrian rebels against bashar al-assad. >> if you would, arming the syrian opposition, many members of congress were against that a year ago, are you hearing from your colleagues growing support for that? >> they are the only alternative. in syria you have i.s.i.l. and
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bashar al-assad. both are poble for many deaths. there has to be a third way in syria. it's a little more complicated because of the three ways in syria. a lot of colleagues were opposed to last year, and not arming the well-vetted syrian rebels. it was opposed to taking streaks in syria. this is a whole other situation, making it complicated, because you have a three-way fight in syria. i.s.i.s. - they have obliterated the border between syria and iraq. you can't go after them in iraq, you have to go after them in syria as well. i hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will look at what the president has to say. the president made a powerful and reasonable case. i hope no one plays politician. if they think the president was not strong enough in the past.
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he is now. if they criticized him for not doing enough in the past, they should support him. the president laid out a vision, it's the correct vision, we should support him. >> the border has been obliterated, and it's a complicated battle. congressman, ranking member of the foreign affairs area of the house. lisa, before letting you go, one follow-up question. what are we hearing from leadership in congress? >> this is a fascinating moment to watch the president. we had rehabilitation from speaker pell owesy and boner. they are united, agreeing we should arm syrian rec else. speaker boehner and nancy pelosi. >> and will the speaker rally the g.o.p. >> we'll find out.
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they are meeting 9 am to discuss it, figure out their plans. next week is what happens the moment. after next week it recesses - they are getting ready for the elections. >> are we hearing dissenting voices. all the statements seem to be supportive of military action. maybe the details are different. you are not seeing people stand back saying stop. are we hearing that. we are not hearing anyone going bag on the president. we are hearing from people withholding judgment, from the right and the left. >> all right. political analyst, thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> coming up, a month after michael brown's murder, protesters take to the streets again as residents of ferguson tackle the long-standing issues. >> we are human. we are people.
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we are taxpayers. all we ask is to sit at the table. >> later in the programme - september 11th, 2001 - the tragedy of that day is not forgotten. reflections from the man who manages the outpouring of support in times of hardship. >> the stream >> your digital community >> you pick the hot topics and express your thoughts the stream, it's your chance to join the conversation only on al jazeera america >> hundreds of days in detention. >> al jazeera rejects all the charges and demands immediate release. >> thousands calling for their freedom. >> it's a clear violation of their human rights. >> we have strongly urged the government to release those journalists. >> journalism is not a crime.
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>> saturday >> prop 8, really made us think about this process of coming out. >> meet the committed couples
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>> gay marriages, straight marriages... have the same challenges. >> it's all about having the same options as everybody else. >> that fought for equality >> saying "i do" changed everything. >>every saturday, join us for exclusive, revealing and surprising talks with the most interesting people of our time. "talk to al jazeera" saturday 5 eastern only on al jazeera america it's been a month since unarmed black teenager michael brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in ferguson, missouri. a month later tensions are high. protesters returned to the streets on wednesday with plans to shut down a major highway. a handful were arrested. these are fresh demonstrations coming a day after the city council held its first public meeting. a crowd voiced frustrations and city council members mostly sat
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and listened. many in the crowd asked why officer wilson had not been arrested, or why african american men were pulled over and arrested. after weeks of clashes between police and protesters, people are angry and official at capitol hill are asking tough questions about whether the use of military equipment by state and local law enforcement should be closely examined. ferguson committee members called for an overhaul and name badges for officers. many of the grievances went behind michael brown's death. >> none of us will be here if the police you put in office would have said "we apologise", this was handled wrong. i have two sons that are 17. they have only been driving a year. it's been a constant vacuum of getting pulled over and fined. >> we are people.
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we are taxpayers. we don't - we ask to sit at the table. >> when i attend a council meeting and i still do, there's usually less than 10 residents at our twice-monthly meetings, all right. listen. you want facts, i'll give you facts. you wanted answers. >> your 3 minutes are up, sir. >> where does the city of ferguson go from here. we are joined from democratic committee woman. thank you for joining us. you were at the meeting. sounds like there was not a lot of confidence in the got. >> that is correct. it was clear from the beginning. it seemed to be a kath arctic release.
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there was no meeting during august. this is the first time they had interaction with the council members. and it was the open comments section after city council business was conducted where they were allowed 3 minutes to speak, but the council said they will not answer questions, and that format fuelled anger. >> do you get the sense that there'll be shangs in leadership there? >> absolutely. that was apparent by the people at the city council meeting. it was also - yes, i don't see how that could not be possible. now, as democratic committee woman, we'll lead a charge that there is a parent. there'll be a change in leadership. we want to make sure the people are educated and what the responsibilities of the office are. >> is there a problem with the lack of diversity among the officials.
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>> absolutely. one of the comments made by one of the public comments made - it looks like the good old boy's club. >> the mayor, if you include him, there's one african american. there needs to be a change, and that comes from the community. they have to step forward, own the process, and the changes and move things forward. >> that is a good point. it's the community's responsibility to get out and vote. i'd like your perspective. you were there on the scene of the shooting minutes after it happened. a month later, where do you think the up to has gone, and where does ferguson go from here? >> well, yesterday was a month. now that we have finished with the riding portion and the confrontational process, if people get some of that out, we are now in the organising phase. like i said every thursday at a
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community church, we'll be meeting with people in ferguson to take a lot of energy and action to give them the answers that they are looking for. it's not enough to vote, us have to vote and hold them accountable. and that's what we'll do, give them the tools. >> it will be interesting in the passions will stay strong and if change will happen. committee woman from ferguson, missouri, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. next - never forget - september 11th, a day to remember. one man with the tough task of managing donations to the dead. >> mrs. jones, you only have three weeks before the statute expires. i'll help you civil out your form to get compensated. she goes "go away i lost my son and you are here to talk about money." . >> also tonight - more and more
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american children diagnosed with autism. what happens when they grow up? >> the number one question is what will happen to my children or my child after my husband and i die. and along comes with that is what will happen to him as an adult. >> autism and independents. meet the mother who helps other parents learn to let go. @j
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>> a crisis on the border >> they're vulnerable these are refugees. >> migrant kids flooding into the us. >> we're gonna go and see who's has just been deported. >> why are so many children fleeing? >> your children will be part of my group... >> fault lines, al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> there blocking the door... >> ground breaking... >> truth seeking... >> we have to get out of here... award winning investigative documentary series... no refuge: children at the border only on al jazeera america
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now, a snapshot of stories making headlines on "america tonight". nearly all employers in the state of california will have to provide sick days to their workers. governor jerry brown signed a bill into law an wednesday. california became the second state in the nation that requires paid sick leave. new questions tonight about when the n.f.l. actually saw the ray rice domestic abuse video. a law enforcement source says that he sent the video of rice pumping his future wife to an n.f.l. executive back in april, and he says he has a voicemail from the n.f.l. to prove it. if it's true, it contradicts n.f.l. commissioner roger goodell who says the league saw the tape this week. a colorado teenager pleaded guilty to providing material support to the islamic state and other al qaeda affiliates.
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19-year-old shannon conley faces 5 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. the nurse's aid wanted to help the islamic state and run away and marry an extremist fighter. the president tonight laid out a strategy for destroying the islamic state for a war-weary nation, making sure to distinguish this campaign to our other interventions in iraq and afghanistan. >> i want the american people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in iraq and afghanistan. it will not involve american combat troops fighting on foreign soil. this counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady relentless effort to take out i.s.i.l. wherever it exists using airpower and support for our partners on the ground. >> the address on the eve of the
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september 11th attacks. nearly 3,000 lost their lives when members of al qaeda hijacked four ai liners, cracking into the twin powers, the pentagon, and a found in pennsylvania. donations came in to help the families, and a man worked tirelessly to manage the fund and said it wasn't easy. "america tonight"s joeie chen sat with kenneth fine berg to find out what he learnt about the aftermath. >> it taught me first of all that examination is a pretty poor substitute for loss. over and over again people who have lost loved ones or have been physically injured will say to me, you are willing to give me a million dollars, bring my wife back, keep the million. >> what is your answer? >> i don't have that power, mr and mrs jones, i wish i did. all i can do, and it's pretty
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small soltice is provide you a check. >> given that awareness and that reality, if you could go back in time it that moment of 9/11 and moment when you were giving your special appointment in this way, would you recommend it again. is that the appropriate thing to do, to ask someone to have the wisdom of solomon, to put a price online. >> no, i think the 9/11 victim compensation fund was sound public policy, it was the right thing to do. policy makers realised that something had to be done because of this unprecedented historical tragedy in american history. i wouldn't replicate it. i wouldn't do it again. >> why? >> the idea that you are going to take public taxpayer money and compensate just these victims - bad things happen to
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good people every day in this country. there wasn't a katrina victim compensation fund. there wasn't a tornado or a hurricane compensation fund. no. i think the 9/11 fund should be viewed for what it was - a success, sound, don't do it again, not with public money. >> not with public money. most of the 97% or so of the people who could have made claims did. what about the last 3%? >> well, almost all of the last 3% opted voluntarily to file a lawsuit against the world trade center, the airlines, mass port or the port authority of new york. most of those who didn't come into the fund went the traditional route and sued. they settled the claims a
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few years later. only two people did nothing. they didn't file a lawsuit, and they didn't come into the fund. did they explain themselves to you. >> overcome by grief. >> could not do it. >> they could not do it. >> you tried. >> i went to a 71-year-old who lost her son and said "mrs. jones, you have three weeks before the statute expires, i'll help you to fill out your form to get compensated." she said "go away, i lost my son and you want to talk about money." >> we like to think, god forbid there is a disaster like 9/11 in this country. if there is, neck everything that you know, believing as you do, things don't necessarily work out the way people want. if someone calls and says yes, there has been an incident and we need ken fineberg, would you do it again. >> of course.
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wouldn't you. wouldn't thousands of men's, if asked by the president of the united states, or the attorney-general of the united states, or a mayor, mayor manino in boston, or governor patricks "ken, will you do this?" i'm a citizens, and i want to help and would do what thousands and thousands of americans would do what they were asked. >> we hope they don't have to ask again. ceremonies will be private this year, reserved mostly for survivors and victim's families. at the world trade center. the reading of the victim's names will begin at 8:46am, marking when the first plane struck the north tower. >> in washington d.c., president obama and secretary of defense hagel will speak at the pentagon memorial, and in pennsylvania,
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an observens of the crash of flit 93 begins -- flight 93 begins at 9:30 in the morning. >> he made olympic history, and now is on trial for murder. as the judge prepares are verdict, a closer look at the triumph and tragedy of the blade runner, oscar pistorius.
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>> on tech know, imagine getting the chance to view the world. >> the brain is re-learning how it sees again >> after decades in the dark, >> i couldn't get around on my own >> a miraculous bionic eye... >> i'm seeing flashes >> great >> tech know, every saturday go where science meets humanity. >> this is some of the best driving i've every done, even though i can't see. >> tech know. >> we're here in the vortex. only on al jazeera america.
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after months of deliberations and emotional testimony, a court in south africa is due to announce its verdict in the murder trial of oscar pistorius. the olympian is accused of deliberately killing his girlfriend reeva steenkamp and he could face up to 25 years behind bars. "america tonight"s lori jane gliha reports on the man known as blade runner. his rise to stardom and the spectacular fall. >> he's known as the blade runner. >> shattered another barrier. >> reporter: on television the drama of oscar pistorius's life plays out like a classic tragedy. he was once a revered sports hero. a sprinting star. an inspiration to the world. as the first double amputee to compete in the olympic games, he was an anomaly, a history maker, a game changer. his world would change on valentine's day 2013, when he
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shot and killed his girlfriend reeva steenkamp. >> reporter: it was less than two years ago when oscar pistorius was living the dream. overcoming incredible odds from the time he was a boy. >> grew up in a house where my parents, my mother said to me oscar, you put on my legs, and my brother "you put on your shoes." that was the difference. i grew up thinking my legs were like different shoes.
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we grew up in a care-free typical south african household, and never had worries or issues. >> reporter: oscar pistorius was born without fibula bones, so doctors amputated his legs hen he was a baby. he mastered prosthetics. >> i played sports with all the other kids. i went to school with my brother and sister. i got on with life. people that see something different. they may be reserved but they realise that this guy doesn't have problems. >> i was taken aback by a youngster with a disability, but life was not getting him down. >> south african sports journalist's oscar pistorius was a cost kid when he met the rising car. >> there was talk about a young kid possibly the next paralympian star. oscar's dream was to run withable-bodied athlete.
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his goal was to run withable-bodied athletes. >> i met oscar when he was 17. he had got into athletics, and on the streghtds of his ability to run the 100 meters and break the record on a first attempt. he was rushed into the paralympic team to go to athens. >> reporter: david o'sullivan featured oscar pistorius on his radio show. >> we didn't know his name or disability. we knew nothing about him. he was shy, quiet, unassuming. >> reporter: it wasn't long before that unassuming young man graced the pages of "times" magazine. >> he became an incredible role model. the status was massive. he had so much power from being a disabled athlete and what he was able to achieve, and took it
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to another level. >> with the carbon fire blades, his pace was on power with elitable-bodied athletes. he fought to compete against him, but the association of athletics association shut him down, saying the blades gave him an advantage. >> we went to mit and conducted three weeks of testing. our results from different. we looked at the prosthetics, deceleration, stratling, swing time. we -- straddling, swing time. we went to the court of arbitration for courts and all three judges agreed in our favour. >> reporter: he was making great strides and history by racing in the 2012 olympic games. he didn't medal. that didn't matter. >> it was a source of enormous inspiration. it doesn't harm him that he was a good-looking kid and knew how
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to handle the media. this is what made you have oscar pistorius. the fact that he overcame remarkable odds and achieved so much meant that he would inspire other athletes. more than that, it was anybody that felt he couldn't achieve something in whatever world they belonged to. >> he went on to win gold at the paralympics and was named one of "people" magazine's sexiest men alive. he met reeva steenkamp in 2012, a model and paralegal turned tv parliamentary, three months later he shot and killed her at his home. he climbed he thought she was an intruder: >> reporter: the prosecutor known as a pit bull and a bulldog showed pictures of reeva
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steenkamp's body in court. >> reporter: now oscar pistorius's fate lies in the hands of a judge. a woman known for giving harsh sentences. >> he was a terrible witness. i feared the worst for the outcome for oscar pistorius. he was not convincing. unfortunately, there's only one person that will know the truth.
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that's himself. there were so many questions na needed to be answered. the real tragedy for me is a family lost a daughter, and yes, a sportsman that has gone from hero to zero, but a family lost a life. that, for me, is a tragedy. a classic tragedy that regardless of the outcome in court, ends with a hero defeated. and joining us from cape town south africa is defense attorney and criminal law expert william booth, who has been following the oscar pistorius trial closely. thanks are for joining us. do you believe prosecutors made their case, will they get a conviction on the murder charge. >> i think one has to distinguish between the various charges. i don't think they'll succeed on premedication or planning. if oscar's version of ents is rejected as -- events is rejected as false, he could be
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convicted on the murder relating to reeva steenkamp. that there was an argument, he lost his temper, went to fetch the firearm and shot her. >> let's talk about his version of the event. for most, that is what stands out - him on the stand, breaking down in tears. will the judge go through and rehash some of the testimony, will we know whether or not she believed him when she issues the verdict. she has to look at the credibility and the witnesses. i personally believe he didn't make a good impression. he didn't answer the questions properly and gave a number of different versions as to what took place. >> will the judge, as she's issuing the verdict, that will take two days, the judge goes through the evidence, remashing it before the verdict. will we get a clear understanding from the judge what she did and didn't believe.
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is that riveting matter, sitting in the courtroom watching it played out. >> the judge is handing down the ruling. and the assisters will assist on the factual issues, will spend time deal with the evidence, and deal with oscar's version. that's why it will take some time tomorrow. >> it's an interesting case. after this a long sentencing period begins after that. defense attorney and criminal law expert william booth, thank you for joining us. >> right, thank you. >> well, after the break - half a million adults will be living with autism in the next decade. who will provide the support and services to help them live independently? >> the number one question is what will happen to my children or my child after my husband and i die. and along comes with that is well, what will happen to them
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as an adult. >> coming up, autism and independence. "america tonight"s chris brewery has the inspirational story on how a mother is letting go and helping others do the same.
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welcome back. is now to our series overcoming disability. in our third installment we want to shine the light on autism. did you know one out of every 88 american children has been diagnosed with autism, a big challenge looms in the future - half a million adults will be living with autism in the next
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decade in the u.s. adults will need support, services and understanding to help them live independently. chris bury sat with a map and his mother who are learn to let go. >> reporter: thank you for letting us come to your apartment. >> you're welcome. >> reporter: looks like a nice place. 40-year-old brandon kramer shows us his small but cosy apartment in santa monica - filled with family nick nacks and prize possessions. >> in is my stereo and entertainment center. >> reporter: the entertainment center is right here. >> yes. >> reporter: nice. >> and my chair, bed, light, and my computer table. >> nice. this is your office, almost. >> my office with my ipad. >> reporter: a favourite gismo is a bright red button. he says it brightens his move.
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>> that was easy. >> reporter: that was easy. >> yes. and i have this that makes me feel better too. >> reporter: so if you feel a little blue you hit one of these. >> if i feel blue or a little out of it and feel like getting happier, i do that. >> he was so tiny. as my grandmother says, he was like a chicken. >> reporter: things have not been easy for brandon or his mother. as a newborn he was tiny, barely 5 pounds. from the time brandon was a toddler, his mother knew he was not developing like other children. >> i noticed his speech or lack of it. words would come out jumbled, mixed up. i thought, though, when he was 2.5, it would be a good thing to put him in preschool or nursery school. when i did that the teacher said "he won't play with anyone, he
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plays on the side by himself and does one thing over and over." >> reporter: by the time brandon was nine he had seizures. the diagnosis, epilepsy. the doctor urged his mother to keep is secret. but brandon struckled in school, he was socially awkward and a target for bullies. >> i put him in public school. i main streamed him, didn't tell anyone that was wrong, and he was beat up almostery day. >> reporter: physically. >> emotionally, physically. his shoes were tape off his feet on hot black tar outside in the schoolyard >> reporter: bullying. as brandon got ordinarily the bullying was worse.
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>> he wanted to play basketball like the other kids, his eye hand coordination was poor. he had slow movement, and, therefore, couldn't make a basket or catch the ball. the kids were smart and knew he couldn't catch it. they threw it at his face and couldn't stop it in type. they broke his nose self times. >> reporter: even then brandon had been diagnosed only with epilepsy. not until years later after a psychologist friend give her a book on autism, did she realise her son was afflicted. >> i read the book. i checked every box was brandon. every one. can't make friends, communication. >> all the attributes of an autistic person. >> i remember being so relieved, and saddened at the same time. >> for parents of autistic
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children, support from public education typically ends after high school. most states stop special education at age 18, a few, including california provide some support until age 22. then the families are on their own. >> what is it like for parents of autistic children when the educational support end. >> parents are scared to death. the number one question is what will happen to my children or my child after my husband and i die. and alongkm - with that is what will happen to them as an adult. >> there we go. >> this apartment was found. it's tiny, less than 400 square feet. brandon is able to live her with financial help from social security. he's been on his own for 16 years. >> like it a lot. i can come and go as i please.
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i don't have to worry about - i just feel happier. >> you don't have to worry about someone checking up on you, you're your own man. >> exactly. every so often my mum checks on me on the phone, or whenever. she comes out here, i call her and let her know what is going op, and stuff like that. >> reporter: take a right or keep going? >> keep going >> reporter: fewer than one in ten autistic adults hold a job. brandon is unable to work his his epileptic seizures can be severe. he cannot drive or ride a bike. he spends his days walking the sunny streets of santa monica. what is this called? >> the prom mad. it's like an outdoor mall. it's nice. >> reporter: good place for you to be independent.
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>> exactly. there's everything for me to do. sometimes he runned errand and fetches coffee for the jeweller. >> it's a beautiful day. >> yes. >> you look good today, look at you. fresh. >> fresh and dressed up for having fun. >> reporter: and he likes to visit with the paramedics who rushed him to the hospital after his epileptic seizures. >> and then there's the old one. >> 1952. >> wow. that one is kind of cool. >> over lunch brandon tells me he feels safe and secure. until the sun goes down. what is the neighbourhood like? >> the neighbourhood is nice, unless you have to be careful at certain times of the day or night. and then... >> you have to be careful. >> just a little bit. because sometimes at night time it gets a little - then...
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>> reporter: a little rough. >> then when it's overwhelming, with things, i go home and relax, because i sometimes get overloaded with people out hear too. >> in california, where brandon lives, 70,000 individuals have been diagnosed with autism. most are children. the number of cases across the country exploded by more than 80%. that means a tidal wave of autistic adults are on the way, half a million over 10 years. brandon's mother is on a mission to help other autistic children carve a path to independence. >> i have such admiration to you. >> reporter: at a conference in orlando, more than 1,000 professionals and parents showed up to hear her keynote speech. >> a lot of us is tuck like glue. how can we be anything else, we
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are codependent. we allow our children to grow and go. they'll have a better life now, than after they are gone. >> i didn't know what it was like. >> good to see you. >> well, amallia star made a career of counselling parents of autistic children who are entering adulthood. >> they'll get there, it will be perfect timing for them. >> maybe not for us, but them. >> molly is laying the ground work so her 19-year-old son can live and thrive on his own. >> what is the biggest concern about him becoming independent and leaving his home. >> i think the biggest concern is he would have something to do. have a job. also it's safety, because james is neve and trusting. we do need to work with teaching him about what is safe, what is
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not safe, where do you go and how do you ask for help. when we as parents understand that our children will live 75% of their life as adults, and much of their time is without us, our job, whether they are two years time and diagnose are their 22. the job is to help the children reach maximum independence. that's the job. the next job after that is to learn the art of getting go. >> sometimes i play this and it doesn't work. >> for his mum, letting go is not easy. now she sees the adult son. i think it's time for a new one, like all the other stuff. >> that's good to put on your list. brandon has advice for others dealing with autism. what do you say to other autistic adults that are worried
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about leaving mum and dad. >> i tell them look at me and what i have done. and you can do it too. now brandon hopes to join his mother on the circuit spreading the gospel to other familiesism. >> look at what is going now, the ferris wheel. >> reporter: they are the leading edge of a giant wave. a new area for men and women, leaving childhood behind and succeeding as adults. truly inspirational, thursday on the program we conclude the series overcoming disability. we'll introduce you to fredrik brennan, and he suffers from what is known as a brittle bone disease. and a lot of time. doing somewhat dangerous things. cooking is safe for me. >> a pan of boiling water is as
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big as i am. you have to be careful. i eat the most unhealthy diet and it's really bad. >> against all odds, he is winning in his quest for independence. how he tackles simply, every day challenges. that's thursday here on "america tonight". that is it for us tonight on "america tonight". if you would like to comment on any stories you have seep, log on to the web site,, and make sure to join the conversation on twitter or facebook. goodnight, and we'll have more "america tonight" tomorrow. >> consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the growing controversy. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> real perspective, consider this on al jazeera america
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>> president obama makes his case to the american people to destroy the islamic state group. also a former islamic extremist, talks about living under a constant death threat. hello i'm antonio mora, welcome to "consider this," those and other stories straight ahead. >> america will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. >> it is time for united states military to go on offense against the islamic state group. >> i will not hesitate to take action against i.s.i.l. in syria as well as iraq. >> 61% of americans say acting against the islamic state is


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